Crash Bandicoot 4 is out on Friday worldwide but if you’re a Japanese Crash Bandicoot fan, you might be experiencing some deja vu. This isn’t the first time Crash Bandicoot 4 has come out in the country. In fact, the original version came out in Japan all the way back in 2001. While Western audiences will remember the game as Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, Japanese Crash fans got an entirely different name.
In Japan, The Wrath of Cortex was actually known as Kurasshu Bandikū 4: Sakuretsu! It roughly translates to Crash Bandicoot 4: Explosion!
Here’s the original Japanese box art for the game:
While the characters appear a little bit off-model (Crash has always been made cuter in Japanese marketing), the title actually makes way more sense than the official Western version.
Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex was developed by Traveller’s Tales instead of Naughty Dog and was the first Crash game to hit the PlayStation 2, but it was a direct sequel to Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped and followed similar warp room-style gameplay. It certainly wasn’t as well-received as the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy but it’s still a fun, mainline Crash game worthy of being a numbered entry (as long as you’re willing to forgive the awful loading times).
Instead, it was given a spin-off style title in the West and only named as a sequel in Japan. While that’s mostly been fine since it launched, the release of 2020’s Crash Bandicoot 4 is likely to cause some confusion. By announcing a new Crash 4, the numbering of the franchise has been completely thrown out of whack, even in Japan.
The new title is still called Crash Bandicoot 4 in Japan, with minimal regional differences between the Western and Japanese releases.
In fact, the only noticeable regional difference this go around is that every character in Crash Bandicoot 4‘s box art has been given five fingers instead of the usual four. This is actually a common localisation in Japan, as having four fingers is culturally associated with being lower class. The number four is also associated with death.
So, there you have it. Two Crash Bandicoot 4 games, released nearly two decades apart. We can’t wait for 2040, when Crash Bandicoot 4 releases once again.
Crash Bandicoot 4 launches on October 2. If you’re looking at picking it up, here’s the cheapest copies in Australia.
Stay tuned to Kotaku Australia for all the latest Bandicoot updates, news and more.